Microbiologist graduated from Buenos Aires University in 1979. Between 1980 and 1991 she obtained several fellowships and received post-graduate training in mycobacteriology at the Pan American Zoonoses Center (PAHO/WHO, Buenos Aires, Argentina) , the National Jewish Hospital and Research Center (Denver, USA), the Laboratory Center for Diseases Control, National Reference Center for Tuberculosis (Ottawa, Canada ) and the Research Tuberculosis Institute (Tokyo, Japan). In 2004 she participated in the Training Course for Tuberculosis Consultants at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Fondazione S Maugeri, Care and Research Institute, Tradate, Italy
During 1985-2012 she managed the Mycobacteria Laboratory at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, ANLIS Dr CG Malbran, in Buenos Aires. This national reference laboratory was designated as WHO/IUATLD Supranational Reference Laboratory. As head of this laboratory Lucia Barrera acquired professional experience in reference laboratory services for mycobacteriology and tuberculosis control. Her responsibilities involved the development and implementation of programmes for laboratory networking, quality assurance and human resource development to meet the challenges identified at country and regional level.
She integrated research groups mainly focused on drug resistant tuberculosis surveillance and new diagnostics evaluation and was co-author of 41 manuscripts published in referred journals,
During the last 8 years she has been actively involved in the development of global and regional laboratory policy, norms and standards. She was member of the GLI core group and task force during 2005-2012. Currently, Lucia Barrera is Coordinator of the Latin American Supranational Reference Laboratories Network, Member the Panel of Experts convened by the Regional Tuberculosis Programme (PAHO/WHO) and Member of the regional Green Light Committee. She participated in more than 20 technical assistance and evaluation/monitoring missions conducted by PAHO in Latin America